Yesterday the Labor Party announced their opposition to the same-sex plebiscite and their plans to block the $200 million bill. With Labor leader Bill Shorten announcing at the Canberra press conference his Party’s support for a free vote on marriage equality in Parliament.
The Labor Leader explained why the party would oppose the plebiscite, “We’ve listened to the experts, to mental health professionals, and the experts have unequivocally explained to Labor that the plebiscite could cause harm to gay and lesbian people, particularly, but not exclusively, young people.”
Further, he labeled Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and the Liberal Party’s proposed plebiscite as ‘expensive’ and ‘divisive’ for Australians. Pushing instead for a free vote adding, “We could make marriage equality a reality today by having a free vote in the parliament and that is what should be done, this is the quickest, cheapest, least harmful and most certain path and we will be pressing our case in days and weeks to come.”
This isn’t a bill that delivers equality, this is a bill than entrenches discrimination. https://t.co/JEKyoaDtZc
— Bill Shorten (@billshortenmp) October 10, 2016
Mr Shorten, and other Labor, Greens and Independent politicians had met with the Rainbow Family campaign just last month and it appears these meetings have played a part in the Opposition Leader and his parties vote. “Having met these families, having listened to these stories, I could not in good conscience recommend the Labor Party that we support the plebiscite about marriage equality.”
The Prime Minister hit back at the proposed Labor-block of the bill saying, “The Bill is in the House. It should be passed this week, it will then go to the Senate. We ask the senators, and all the members of the Senate, including the Labor Party, to support that Bill and to give people their say on February 11.” Further claiming that the Opposition Leader was denying the people their say, “He does not want the Australian people to have their say on any terms.”
PM Turnbull rejected Shorten’s claims that the plebiscite would have a negative impact on the LGBTQIA community. “I have great faith in the ability of the Australian people to have a respectful discussion about this and indeed many other issues as we have done and as we will do in the future.”
With senior politicians expressing their discontent for a parliamentary vote, Labor’s free-vote bill is unlikely to pass in this term. Meaning marriage equality will have to wait for the next term of Parliament or they will have to convince the opposing votes once the plebiscite is blocked by Senate.
— Bill Shorten (@billshortenmp) October 12, 2016